I was doing a post interview debrief with a candidate last week. The interview went well save for the final question. “If we had asked you to come to this interview in fancy dress, would you have come and if so, dressed as what?”
This threw the candidate completely at the tail end of what was, until then, a very conventional, CV based interview!
It got me thinking, how would I have reacted in the same scenario? Was the question fair? What would constitute a good answer?!
I cast my mind back to the interviews that I have attended over the years, there have been a few!
What was the strangest question I have ever been asked? I think it was when I went to a training contact interview with a small high street firm whilst at university.
The interviewer, the firm’s Senior Partner, was an Oxbridge graduate. He was an old school, traditional lawyer with a pin striped suit, polished brogues and a penchant for afternoon drinking.
My after-work interview lasted all of about 20 minutes. He read through my CV, asked me whether I was going to get a 2;1 , why I wanted to be a lawyer, told me he knew my Dad vaguely through rugby... He then announced that he was going to the pictures that evening with his wife. He asked me whether I liked the pictures. I said yes. He asked what my favourite film was. “Pulp Fiction”, I said. He then asked me to sell the film to him in 2 minutes, outlining the plot and why I liked it so much!
I gave it my best shot, Barry Norman style, including as much of the juicy plot contrivances and twists as I could muster. I think I probably got a little carried away! He described my elongated elevator pitch of what is a nearly impossible to describe film as “curious” and “possibly one to avoid”.
I never did get the job….
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